Joseph Parker's First Defense Options - Hughie Fury, Jarrell Miller

By Keith Idec

Co-promoter Bob Arum told that Hughie Fury and Jarrell Miller are among the opponents being considered for Joseph Parker’s first heavyweight title defense sometime late in March.

New Zealand’s Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) won the then-vacant WBO heavyweight championship against American Andy Ruiz (29-1, 19 KOs), whom Parker beat by majority decision December 10 in Auckland, New Zealand. His first defense can come against an optional opponent.

England’s Fury (20-0, 10 KOs), a cousin of former WBO heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, is ranked No. 2 among the WBO’s heavyweight contenders and owns the WBO Intercontinental title. Brooklyn’s Miller (18-0-1, 16 KOs) is ranked No. 4 by the WBO and has the NABO championship.


Former WBA champion David Haye (28-2, 26 KOs) is ranked No. 1 by the WBO, but London’s Haye has committed to an all-British battle against Liverpool’s Tony Bellew (28-2-1, 18 KOs) on March 4 at London’s O2 Arena.

“Miller is a possibility,” said Arum, whose company, Top Rank Inc., became Parker’s co-promoter just before he fought Ruiz. “Hughie Fury is a possibility. We’ll take our time and figure it out.”

The 24-year-old Parker fought five times in 2016 and is enjoying some well-deserved time off following his championship victory at a sold-out Vector Arena in his native Acukland. He is very popular in New Zealand, but Arum wants to bring the 6-foot-4, 246-pound Parker, who resides and trains in Las Vegas, to the United States for his next fight.

“I think Parker is gonna fight at the end of March and I think the plan is to have him fight in the United States,” Arum said. “Vegas or L.A. or New York. We’ll see. Wherever it makes the most sense.”

Arum also believes a Parker-Ruiz rematch is a fight that should take place at some point. Parker out-pointed Ruiz, of Imperial, California, by scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114 in a mostly tactical encounter.

“The truth is, I scored it even,” Arum said. “It was an exciting fight when you were there [at ringside]. I thought it was pretty exciting. You know, for a heavyweight fight, very exciting. So yeah, I think eventually we’ll do a rematch.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Travycat on 12-21-2016

Bob will have him avoid Fury (even though I think he'd beat him). Bob's in the business of making money, not fights.

Comment by Corelone on 12-21-2016

[QUOTE=Marvlus Marv;17297159]Credit to Parker if he takes on Arreola or Duhaupas as I won't have to look them up. The dude Wilder's fighting, I'd never heard of. Now I know he's Poland's #2. Woo.[/QUOTE] I'm saying the fat men with…

Comment by HAY-B on 12-21-2016

I want him to fight Big Baby and whoop his a55. I don't like Big Baby. I think if the fight happens it would be my worst nightmare if Big Baby won. This fight would definitely be the toughest fight…

Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 12-21-2016

Solid fights for first defense.

Comment by BWC on 12-21-2016

Miller is a beast and Fury has got skills. He won't fight either of these guys..

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